Monday, September 27, 2010

Miracles and Healing

It's all too easy to think of Jesus as a distant figure, as someone who existed in the past. Real faith begins when we recognize that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Therefore, the miracles that Jesus performed when he roamed the earth with his disciples are just as possible today through his instruments of mercy. The following books attest to the powerful witness of Christ's mercy in other people's lives.

Miracles: Healing for a Broken WorldMiracles: Healing for a Broken World  by Fr. Stefan Starzynski, OSV, 2010.
This powerful book includes Fr. Stefan's testimony as well as the testimonies of others who have received Christ's healing through Fr. Stefan's healing ministry. 

Miracles Do HappenMiracles Do Happen by Sr. Briege McKenna and Henry Libersat, Charis Books, 1996.

Although this book is older, I picked it up new in a book store. Sr. Briege relates her personal story of healing (she suffered debilitating arthritis) and the stories of healing others have received through her healing ministry. Her specific apostolate is to priests and asks us to pray for them.

When The Spirit Comes In Power: Rediscovering The Charismatic Dimension Of The Christian Life
When The Spirit Comes In Power: Rediscovering The Charismatic Dimension Of The Christian Life by Peter Herbeck, Servant Books, 2003

The stories in Herbeck's book bear witness to the powerful testimony of the Holy Spirit. In between the stories, he does go on and on a bit much. I just skipped to the next story. For someone who has questions about certain aspects of the Charismatic movement, his explaining may be interesting.

Healing of Memories: Prayer and Confession Steps to Inner HealingHealing of Memories: Prayer and Confession Steps to Inner Healing by Dennis and Matthew Linn, Paulist Press, 1974.

Some of life's greatest hurts can be life changing. We can choose to live in bitterness and resentment or seek healing.

Miracles Today: True Stories of Contemporary Miracles
Miracles Today: True Stories of Contemporary Miracles by Henry Libersat, Servant Publications, 1999.

Well, first off, Amazon has the incorrect title. Miracles Today: True Stories of Divine Healing. He is the co-author of Sr. Briege's book Miracles Do Happen. This is an engaging read relating the testimonies of 25 people who have received various kinds of healing through the miracle of God's grace.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


For Good Measure: The Ways We Say How Much, How Far, How Heavy, How Big, How Old 
"Time is the stuff that slips away, never to return. You can't see it or touch it, but you can measure it." Ken Robbins For Good Measure: The Ways We Say How Much, How Far, How Heavy, How Big, How Old

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Alex O'Donnell and the 40 Cyber Thieves

Alex O'Donnell and the 40 CyberThievesAlex O'Donnell and the 40 CyberThieves by Regina Doman, Regina Doman, 2010, 218 pp. Ages: Mature Teens and Young Adults.

In  Alex O'Donnell and the 40 CyberThieves, we are reintroduced to Alex and Kateri (characters from Waking Rose). Alex is madly in love with Kateri, but Kateri is not so sure about this guy with the pony tail, ear ring, and tattoos. Does she really want to spend the rest of her life with him? After all, he is into gaming and martial arts. How far will Alex go to prove that he loves Kateri?

Is it a love story? Or is it a suspense thriller? Cyberthieves are onto Alex's dad. Alex's Uncle's death was no accident. Who will be the next victim?

How is this book different? While the plot is predictable, since it follows the outline of Ali Ba Ba, there are plenty of surprises along the way. How does an average, middle class family purchase a hotel? Even more surprising is how do 40 thieves try to capture a hotel? And the most surprising is the end! As the plot develops, there are many themes for the reader to pause and reflect on. Who is a good person to marry and why? The characters are real people, struggling with their human faults while still trying to do the right thing. The characters are likable. We empathize and sympathize with them. Sprinkled throughout are Catholic references. When a tense situation arises, Kateri recites her rosary. Not just Catholic traditions, but lots of Catholic teaching is brought up, not preachy, but in a natural way. What does it mean to be honest? What is a good conscience? How should young people who are dating treat one another?

This fast paced story of mystery, murder, and mayhem keeps the readers' attention riveted until the surprising end.

The Loser Letters, A Comic Tale of Life, Death, and Atheism

The Loser LettersThe Loser Letters by Mary Eberstadt, Ignatius Press, 2010, pbk, 150 pp. Age: Young Adult and Mature Teen.

What if you followed the advice of your "loser" boyfriend and chucked God in the wastebasket? What kind of choices would you make? In The Loser Letters, A. F. (A Former) Christian writes a series of letters to her new BFF (Best Friends Forever!) --Atheists Dawkins, Hitchens, et. al.-- offering friendly advice on how they need to improve Atheism in order to gain more recruits. In her opinion, much of their advice has been tried and found wanting. [Actually, the "Loser" in the title refers to God. Since the "enlightened" atheists, or "brights" as she refers to them, like to refer to those who believe in God as losers.]

This is a powerful fictional account of what happens when you follow the advice of the real losers in life, i.e. Dawkins and friends Let's be honest. How many young people are going to open a deep philosophical, theological or moral tome on why sex before marriage messes up your life. They just don't want to hear it. In the contemporary language that young people use (just have a conversation with one or read Facebook), A. F. Christian writes a series of letters, each one focusing on a different argument of Atheism, building her arguments until the final chapter.

The audience is to young people, so it's not your typical writing style. Either you like it or you don't. "To All My Awesome Leading Atheist Idols." This isn't just fluffy packaging either; there are plenty of arguments to think about, so prepare yourself the next time you have a heated dicussion with your atheist brother, brother-in-law, uncle, aunt, . . .